‘We’ve got a lot of all-round talent’

Keo.co.za talks to Golden Lions U18 coach Wynand Moolman about this year’s Craven Week.

Which school in Gauteng has the most players in the Lions side, and has that school been the best performer?
Monument High School [in Krugersdorp] has 10. The school is always successful in rugby and has produced top quality players like Jaque Fourie, Jorrie Muller and Brendan Venter. So, it’s got a lot of talent.

How many players from last year’s Craven Week team feature in this year’s team?
Three – Chad de Klerk [right wing, Monument], Sifiso Chabangu [wing, Jeppe Boys' High] and Tshepo Mooki [fullback, Florida Park]. We also have Ruan Steenkamp [eighthman, Monument] who was in the Academy team last year.

Who is your captain, and why did you give him the responsibility?
Steenkamp. He’s a natural leader.

Will you change the team’s approach for this year’s campaign?
This is my first year as head coach. We may play differently to last year.

What are the Golden Lions’ strengths?
We’ve got a lot of all-round talent. We boast a good pack of fowards and a very exciting backline.

Which teams do you expect to give your team a tough time?
Eastern Province, Free State and Western Province usually boss the other teams around, but you cannnot underestimate the ‘smaller’ rugby provinces because every year teams come with almost completely different squads.

What are your coaching ambitions?
Well, this is my first year as coach of the Craven Week team, so I will take everything from here. I do this for the love of the game. I can’t really say I want a certain coaching position in a particular team. I just want to do my best – in every practice session and in every match. I just want to give the best that I can and then the rest will fall into place.

By Soyiso Maliti